Does Disney Have After 4 Tickets?

in Events, Park Secrets, Walt Disney World

EPCOT After 4 feature image showing White Rabbit clipart and Spaceship Earth

Can you recall a time when you’ve been at EPCOT and observed locals living in the greater Orlando area entering the Park later on in the day?

While it’s true that area residents, as well as those from the surrounding Tampa and Kissimmee areas, don’t have to go through the same time restraints that visiting vacationers do, you may have still wondered about their reasoning for waiting to visit later rather than earlier in the day. Does Disney have after 4 p.m. tickets? Are they exclusive Disney Florida resident tickets? The answers are a little more complicated than that, especially now in the aftermath of a global pandemic that brought on massive Disney Park and Resort closures worldwide and resulted in the alteration of so many former perks, privileges, and experiences. Sadly, what was once known as Disney’s EPCOT After 4 Pass can be counted among such casualties, with such offerings remaining at a halt indefinitely.

Whether the After 4 Pass is eventually restored to its former format or makes a rebooted reprisal sometime in the future is up in the air at the present time. But here at Inside the Magic, we feel that looking back at what it was all about may be in order.

Signage showing EPCOT and Annual Passholder entrance
Credit: World of Walt

History of Annual Passes

Before looking into EPCOT After 4 Passes specifically, it’s first worth reviewing the overall history of Disney Annual Passes. The first ones premiered in Disney World back in September 1982. In 1983 Disneyland, in Anaheim, California, implemented its own version—currently known as Magic Key Passes. Before then, Disneyland tickets and Walt Disney World tickets were both initially done differently. Guests would purchase a general admission ticket to enter a Park and then would have the option to buy ticket books (with differing levels) to access various rides and attractions once inside. So, when Disney decided to transition into a new system that covered entrance costs and unlimited rides and attractions, not everyone was on board. So, in many ways, the first Annual Passes were a saving grace of sorts, giving Guests more options to enjoy Parks while not feeling the wastefulness of having to pay for unused activities, so to speak.

Original Disneyland ticket
Credit: D23

Annual Passes only continued to grow and develop throughout the decades, eventually evolving to give Guests multiple membership options to choose from (based on pricing and particular perks each one covers). In 2015, Disney even introduced different options like Platinum, Platinum Plus, Silver, and a Gold Pass, alternately known as a Disney lifetime pass. Florida resident-exclusive passes emerged in 2018, which included the Theme Park Select Pass and Florida Resident Add-Ons.

Related: What You Need to Know Before You Purchase a Walt Disney World Annual Pass

EPCOT After 4 Passes

EPCOT After 4 Passes were established back in 1995 as a Florida resident-exclusive offering. Specially designed with the adult crowd in mind, it focused more on dining, music, and festivals and less on those hustle and bustle attractions that tourists tend to flock to most. Furthermore, it was one of the less expensive Disney Annual Passes yet still came with the same extras, in the way of perks and benefits.

Adults enjoying Annual Pass perks at Disney World
Credit: Disney

After 4 Perks

Two of the more apparent perks EPCOT After 4 Passes came with were free standard parking and free Park admission after 4 p.m. No block-out dates meant Passholders could just show up at EPCOT any day after 4 p.m., whether or not special events were occurring at the time.

Additionally, Passholders got to enjoy various discounts on dining and shopping. Dining discounts usually averaged somewhere between 10% and 20% off the entire bill at most quick-service and table-service restaurants at EPCOT as well as some within Disney Springs and even at select Resorts. For shopping, Passholders typically got a 20% cut at EPCOT retailers and at select locations in Disney Springs and some Resorts.

Passholders also earned an extra 15% off select guided tours. Other perks included free PhotoPass download services and opportunities to make three (now retired) FastPass+ reservations up to 30 in advance.

EPCOT in the evening, showing Spaceship Earth and the Monorail
Credit: Disney

Related: Walt Disney World Launches NEW Annual Passholder Perks

Pandemic Era Alterations

Things have been slowly but surely improving since the Covid-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the world. Yet, there are still many examples in which a former once-wonderful Disney offering has yet to return to its previous glory. Just think about all those discontinued or altered Disney World packages and even the fact that Disney World and Disneyland reservations are now required for entering Parks (in addition to buying tickets). There are just so many frustrating changes we’re still trying to come to terms with, many of which affect Annual Passholders directly. And it pretty much goes without saying, given the current Park Reservation System that’s in place, the spontaneity of getting to visit EPCOT whenever you wanted to after 4 p.m. is no longer doable. Disney did try to find viable workarounds when the Parks reopened in the summer of 2020, even altering the “after 4 p.m.” designated time slot to 2 p.m. to compensate for earlier evening closure times. But eventually, following an Annual Pass sale pause, Disney adopted a new tiered Annual Pass structure, and the EPCOT After 4 Pass became defunct.

Of course, anyone ever looking to enjoy EPCOT evening happenings specifically may go ahead and “purchase” tickets later in the day, granting there is Park Reservation Availability. Note, however, that purchasing tickets after 4 p.m. merits no discounts, as you will initially pay the full price for less time in the Park.

Recent Passholder Developments

While March 20, 2023, saw the return of certain Passholder comps, it wasn’t until April 18, that we really started to see the tides shift in favor of Disney World Annual Passholders. That was when they were officially permitted to start visiting Disney theme parks any time after 2 p.m. (excluding Saturdays and Sundays at Magic Kingdom Park) without needing a Park Reservation. Block-out dates do still apply, though.

Also, as of April 20, Disney World Annual Pass sales that were previously halted have at last resumed! Currently, the following four Annual Pass options are available:

  • Disney Pixie Dust Pass—Available to Florida residents for $399 plus tax.
  • Disney Pirate Pass—Available to Florida residents for $749 plus tax.
  • Disney Sorcerer Pass—Available to Disney Vacation Club Members and Florida residents for $969 plus tax.
  • Disney Incredi-Pass—Available to all Guests for $1,399 plus tax.

Each option comes with its own unique benefits and perks. Click here to learn more about each and every option in greater detail.


EPCOT Pass Entrance next to Spaceship Earth

Related: Annual Passes Return to Walt Disney World

While there aren’t currently any special After 4 p.m. Passes offered for EPCOT now, we have much to rejoice in given all the more positive recent changes that are finally starting to emerge. So, whether or not Disney brings back the former offering in its entirety or presents us with something altogether new and exciting is anyone’s guess.

Do you have any thoughts or feelings you’d like to share about Disney Annual Passes, the Park Reservation System, or the formerly offered EPCOT After 4 p.m. Pass? Let us know in the comments section.

in Events, Park Secrets, Walt Disney World

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